Knitting Factory, Wednesday night, New York, all good-to-great bands playing their hearts out tonight. In a way, Art Brut has really galvanized other bands, driving them to rock harder, methinks. ‘Formed A Band’ indeed!
I missed The Chalets, who opened the show, but a pal in the crowd said they were very good, an opening band that actually ‘warmed up the New York crowd and they liked it’ he said…The Chalets leave tomorrow for a load of summer shows in the Old COuntry.
Next up was the Epitaph Records band called Robocop Kraus, who gave the full Knit crowd an awesome set filled with energy, anthems and attraction. A German band, Robocop Kraus took awhile to get onstage, but it was worth it – a great opener called “Modern Attraction”, a fab rhythm section (always a good sign), tasteful synth and keys, and a rockin’ singin trio. Singer Thomas Lang, battling a ragged throat, had fine Ian Curtis-like jerky dance moves, and played guitar on the song that he said was the greatest song ever (it nearly was, in their hands). Kudos to the band for covering Minor Threat’s “Filler” in German! A great set by Robocop Kraus, worth seeing again.
Then on came ‘special guests’ Art Brut 47, aka We Are Scientists, who leave on tour tomorrow too to play Mexico City, San Diego and then a load of dates with the Arctic Monkeys. No Art Brut franchise covers from the band, but a full slammin’ W.A.S. set to a packed house. First time seeing them, I caught the first five songs, digging the singer’s vocals and the drummer’s syncopation, then slinked to the back bar for some air, and ran into Art Brut frontman Eddie Argos, keeping his wife happy in the back and entertaining fans. I dropped the ‘Jonathan Richman’ fanboy line, and he was off, talking of his deep love for the Modern Lovers and how his friends have gotten him some Jonathan bootlegs recently (me too! – check Bittorrent). Friendly guy, hangin’ out, looking buttoned up in untucked white shit and tie.
Art Brut came on moments later, and kicked out a fast ‘n loud set laced with slammin’ guitars from Jasper Future and Ian Catskilkin, both decked out in black jeans and tees, powerchording the night away. All the songs took on extra edge tonight, from “My Little Brother” to new songs like the one introduced as “Nag,Nag,Nag,Nag,Nag,Nag”. Art Brut has the best stand-up drummer around – literally. Best standing drummer, that Mike. He rocked. The band finished with ‘Brand New Girlfriend’ which Argos said was the band’s “hit”, at #1 in Germany, Bavaria and a few other outposts Way Out East. The song, which rips off the piano riff from the early ’60s song “Cool Jerk”, got a twist near the end with a ‘Kids in America’ chorus, which fit seamlessly….it sounds awful, but it worked.
See the bands (except Robocop Kraus) again Thursday night, if you can find tix.
Rock and roll + Art Brut = Fun. [I didn’t take any pix, but you can see my pix from last month’s Brooklyn show and others at the link. I’m sure there will be more pix posted Thursday. Peace.]